Convicted rapist won’t serve prison time after Tulsa judge’s decision

TULSA, Okla. — A convicted rapist will spend no time behind bars following a local judge’s decision.

Malik Vance was arrested and charged with First Degree Rape in Aug. 2018 following an investigation that began in Oct. 2017.

Court records show that prosecutors had DNA evidence to prove Vance raped a woman at an apartment near 91st Street and Riverside Parkway on Oct. 21, 2017.

The woman told police Vance was dating her friend at the time.

She said she was at the couple’s apartment while her friend was asleep when the sexual assault happened.

The woman said she woke up to Vance on top of her sexually assaulting her.

The jury trial in the case began March 1, 2021.

On March 3, the jury convicted Vance on his rape charge and recommended he spend 13 years in prison.

In formal sentencing last week, District Court Judge Sharon Holmes suspended all 13 years.

A suspended sentence works a lot like probation according to Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler. Vance will have to follow rules of probation but he will spend no actual time behind bars as long as he doesn’t commit another crime.

Court records show the decision was made over the state’s objection.

“As a prosecutor for over 30 years I trust our system of justice and its reliance upon jurors to render judgment in many cases. Citizens of our community are summoned to serve, and we look to them and their sacrifices to hold each side accountable in the pursuit of justice. In this case 12 citizens did their job and rendered their judgment. This defendant is a convicted first degree rapist. They recommended a punishment of 13 years incarceration. It is shocking to me and difficult for the victim to understand how such a person can be given a full term of probation for his violent actions.”

—  Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler

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